Why Many Couples Aren’t Married [or Pregnant] Yet… [The Real Tea]!

Are you in a serious relationship? Is he a well-rounded, positive individual that your family/friends adore? 

If you answered yes to one, or both, of these questions, then 9.9 times out of 10 you’ve been asked “When are y’all gonna get engaged?”. 

How do I know? Because I’m in that 9.9 times group.

Now, before anyone who’s asked this question (in jest or seriousness) gets offended, please don’t be. View this blog as efforts to offer insightful information or alternative ways to express your hopefulness! Take time to read how you can avoid being “that person” who asked “that question” and put a potential bride-to-be in a very awkward, or annoyed, state.

We know you mean well. Really, we do! It simply tends to come off as opposite of your intentions.

I’ve had this conversation with several girlfriends who are, or recently were, in my shoes. We all relatively feel the same about the question. Though you have such positive intentions, here’s a few things that reign top of mind when we hear it. Slip in our shoes for a sec:

  1. Cat got their tongue? Maybe they don’t know what to say.
    • It happens. You see a couple that looks to be in a happy, healthy, stable relationship. They look good together. They have the “it” factor. You want to see that forever promised kind of love. Naturally, you’re thinking- “When will they take the next step?” So, a choice is made to verbally inquire. Never mind the fact that there’s already a lot of pressure on [most] males to make sure they’re in a position spiritually, mentally, physically, financially, etc. to be able to be the Head of the Household that they need to be. There are also internal challenges and goals that both partners have likely discussed that they want to reach- whether financial, personal, educational, professional, etc. That’s a lot, right? Consider just wishing them well if you’re not sure what to say. Timing is everything! There are couples that are making responsible decisions and waiting for the best timing. Just as God’s delay does not imply denial, neither does a couple’s “delay” of moving forward to the next step in their relationship.

  2. Once they pop, the questions don’t stop…
    • This is TOOO real! Though one seemingly simple question is asked, we hear the next five at the same time. You say, “When are y’all getting engaged?”. Whereas, we hear: “When are y’all getting engaged?”, “When’s the wedding date?”, ”Do you need my address for the wedding invitation?”, ”When are you guys going to have kids?”, “This baby is sooo precious! Time for another one, yes?”… YIKES! Talk about being overwhelmed. The reality is, these things will happen, so when it’s the appropriate time for you to hear about these amazing life transitions, you will. In these times, women are advancing in their careers and are more driven than ever before. Some may disagree, but there are several couples who are comfortable achieving those professional and/or educational goals prior to saying “I do”, or bearing children. I know numerous women who had to put their career, educational, and/or financial dreams on hold because they got married or were with child before they could achieve them. Those dreams frankly could no longer fit in their new lifestyle. This advice passed down is encouraging rising wives- and mothers-to-be to have an open, honest conversation, and be more thoughtful in their steps forward.

  3. It takes two to tango… and to decide to get engaged! 
    • Let’s just address the elephant in the room here. As women in semi-/traditional relationships, we don’t exactly know when the engagement will take place. We aren’t buying the ring. Our guy won’t give off a scent that smells of Jared’s, diamonds, and a proposal date. So, if you were looking for a “Funny you ask- it’ll be in 3 months, 1 week, and 4 days!” type of answer… we won’t have it. Therefore, asking “the” question to a woman is quite odd. Even if a couple has decided the time frame that they want to move forward, until it happens, they are likely not going to announce it to the world… nor their favorite aunt or best friend since 1st grade.

Again, we know you intend no harm, and neither does this blog post. It just seems like this question is asked so frequently that it makes us want to stand on a soapbox and present a Daddy Pope kind of monologue (or blog…) about why that question could’ve gone unasked.

Being in love with our best friend/soul mate, Pinterest board addictions, wedding/jeweler Instagram posts, and countless other private, guilty pleasures already make it challenging enough to calm the excitement. Eek!

Many say they’re joking, and a few are serious. However, whether in jest or not, the next time you’re extremely excited for a couple in a seemingly happy, healthy relationship, encourage them to keep God first and make decisions that are best for them. 

Encourage them to take their time. Remember, 9.9 times out of 10, there’s an influx of asked questions that unintentionally make them feel rushed.

And when you finally DO get the answer to your question, along with the wedding invitation… don’t forget to RSVP! ;-)

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Click here to see the full infographic.

Client News: Mane Event Wedding and Event Planning Launches 1st Promo Video

It was Friday night, November 29th. A few family members and I were headed to Maryland Live! Casino. It was my first time going to a casino, so I was be-yond excited to see what the experience would be like!

As we’re en route, I was getting my master plan together: What’s the most I want to gamble with? Should I do slots, or stick to what’s most familiar? Blackjack, for sure.

In the midst of the brainstorming sesison, my phone rings, and it’s a good friend of mine- Sabrina. Do I answer? My plan isn’t all the way together and it’s almost time to execute! Not to mention, I can count on one hand how many times she and I have had a convo in less than 60 minutes… and we talk almost weekly.

I took the call. After all, I didn’t need to conspire too much more. I was feeling lucky that day, REAL lucky… like found-$5-in-my-right-jean’s-pocket-that-morning kinda lucky!

The first thing she said was, “I have an idea!”, so I immediately shifted her to frilent (pronounced “fry-lent”, meaning: friend and client) mode. Now understand, this shift isn’t uncommon for our chats. She’ll often utilize my PR consulting services or pick my brain for guidance through a creative idea.

“I’m all ears- talk to me!”, I eagerly replied.

Sabrina, CEO of Mane Event Wedding and Event Planning (MEP), proceeded to share that she’d been approached by a guy who specializes in producing short films, documentaries, etc. His proposition was for her to allow his company to create a promo video highlighting MEP’s clients, services, and team members.

It was only the best idea EVER because MEP was about to accept a valuable offer that some niche business neglect. They were going to be communicating directly with prospective clients, exactly where their audience was… on the web!

David Meerman Scott, author of a very insightful book, “The New Rules of Marketing & PR”, is a strong advocate of this method. He writes: “The Internet has made public relations public again, after years of almost exclusive focus on media. Blogs, online video… and other forms of web content let organizations communicate directly with buyers.” With the advances of social media and the web, who needs expensive, mainstream marketing mechanisms- especially if you’re a small business with a targeted population?

…Fast forward to early December…

Via phone, somehow between the out-of-shape, deep breaths from my treadmill run, Sabrina and I hashed out an overall concept of what the video would look like. We strategized thoroughly over the course of the next few days tackling questions such as: What’s the takeaway message for viewers? The feel of the video? How can we enhance and incorporate their Mission Statement? What are the top business credentials and service offerings to highlight? Mane Event Planning had one shot at this and needed to capitalize!

Of course, the producer, Charles Ashley, Jr., did an outstanding job leading the creative! Most notably, every incorporated still photo reflected each team members well-spoken perspective of their role in client/service engagement at MEP.

I’m beyond proud of my friend and client! Not to discredit any support she receives from her colleagues, but as CEO, Sabrina’s work ethic is inspiring and noteworthy. Overly dedicated to her craft, with a mind that restlessly mulls over how to improve MEP’s marketing efforts and business processes.

Certifications. Licensures. Awards. Magazine placements. You name it - they have it. I couldn’t imagine hiring anyone with lesser qualities to oversee any special occasion experience!

So, short story made long- checkout Mane Event Wedding and Event Planning’s promo video: http://vimeo.com/86375930… and tell a friend, to tell a friend, to tell a bride-to-be!

Engage with MEP socially:
Twitter: @Mane_Events
Instagram: @Mane_Events
Website: http://maneeventplanning.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ManeEventsPlanning

Enjoy the 411!

Local Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Offers Free College Prep Session

January 31, 2014


Media Contact:
Casey Adams

Local Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Offers Free College Prep Session

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – In four years, approximately 90,000 students will enter their first year at a college or university, according to the U.S. Department of Education. If you are the parent or guardian of a high school freshman, this projected statistic includes your child… or does it? 

For many families, the college application process can be overwhelming, largely due to a lack of information, access to resources, or the like. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated wants to aid in making the process as seamless and achievable as possible for your children, and for you.

On Saturday, February 22nd from 9:00am-12:30pm, the Chapter will host a Teen Summit titled, “Are You Ready for College?”, at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hamilton Hall building. There will be representatives from colleges and universities including: Duke, Durham Tech, North Carolina Central, North Carolina State, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, and Wake Tech.

Male and female high school students are encouraged to attend this day of interactive workshops, designed to enhance their skills to achieve higher levels of academic and personal success. 

Discussion topics include: college admission, being successful in the classroom, student life, and more! There will also be prize raffles.

Just for parents, there will be workshop offering practical advice on how to best support your children during the college application and transition processes and financial aid. Rhonda Manns, Director of A2Z College Planning, will be the featured speaker.

All interested in attending must complete the eRegistration form: http://goo.gl/Gmci8t.

For more information, please email teensummitDST@gmail.com

About Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was founded in 1913 on the campus of Howard University to promote academic excellence; to provide scholarships; to provide support to the underserved; to educate and stimulate participation in the establishment of positive public policy; and to highlight issues and provide solutions for problems in communities. Today, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has more than 900 chapters worldwide and has initiated over 250,000 members. The Sorority uses its Five-Point Programmatic Thrust of economic development, educational development, international awareness and involvement, physical and mental health, and political awareness and involvement to create its national programs. For more information, please visit www.deltasigmatheta.org

Commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy, on his 85th birthday, by reflecting on one of my most favorite quotes of his! 

Commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy, on his 85th birthday, by reflecting on one of my most favorite quotes of his! 

Understanding and “Being Mary Jane”


Being Gabrielle Union has got to be beyond stressful lately, so perhaps she’s looking forward to Being Mary Jane" tonight at 10p on BET

Union, a stunning actress, whose “grace under fire” smile plasters blog sites and news articles everywhere, has been under immense scrutiny for her, now fiancé’s, poor decisions. Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat basketball star- and 8.5 carat engagement ring purchaser, recently confirmed his engagement to Gabrielle and his newborn child by a woman that’s not Gab… and um, not Mary Jane, either.

BUT, I digress, so let’s talk about Gabrielle Union being Mary Jane Paul

The new 8-episode television series is actually Mara Brock Akil’s first dramaThe 2013 Black Girls Rock “Shot Caller” Award winner vows to take us through almost every emotion that a Single, Black woman has conquered, is facing, or at least been exposed to. Gabrielle Union’s character- Mary Jane Paul, is an unmarried woman who’s life consists of being dominant in her career as a notable TV anchor, the financial and emotional stronghold of her family, and frequently perplexed in her romantic life. 

The movie will premiere again at 8p on BET. If you haven’t seen it, definitely catch that before the 10p episode. In July 2013, “Being Mary Jane” launched as a 2-hour movie that provided us with the background story of Mary Jane Paul’s life. It broke record numbers in viewers and captivated social media networks! It was a great excitement build up for the series to come this Winter. 

Of course, there are several who wonder if/how this show will match up to Shonda Rhimes’ hit series, “Scandal”. Well, Gladiators, put on your white hats and fill your long-stemmed, Camille glasses with Red wine because Mara Brock has no intention of this show irrigating your Scandal drought.

In a recent interview, Mara Brock Akil mentions that this show is “different because in ‘Scandal’ you see a Black woman living in a White world. You see a lot of shows with affair and murder plots, but I think it’s hard enough to just get through the day.” 

Akil has, however, embraced the comparison of the two shows (BMJ + Scandal) in a live tweet chat last night. In response to a tweet inquiring how she feels about her first ever drama series being compared to “Scandal”, she responded, “Who wouldn’t want 2 B N #greatcompany ? @shondarhimes @kerrywashington R doing their thing! And so are we! #BMJ #Jan7”


Top 3 Reasons You Should Watch

Having watched the movie premiere and soaked up on tons of Gab’s latest verbal and visual promo interviews, I’ve compiled the top 3 reasons you should watch…. You’re welcome!

Reason #3: This one is for the men, so I’m gonna keep in simple. Why should you watch this series? Because Gabrielle Union is sexy! Duh. 

Reason #2: It’s not expected to be a cookie-cutter, happily ever after type of series. I mean, maybe she will live happily ever after, but right now, it’s uncertain. Mara Brock claims to show the most intimate perspectives of Mary Jane’s life- from the God-awfulest of decisions, to the most successful, cherishable moments. How awesome will it be to go through those experiences with her as an Amen corner, orrr to get notes of what not to do. MJ wants to have it all and we’re gonna route for her, every Tuesday, to achieve it!

… *insert dramatic drumroll* …

Annnnnnd, Reason #1: Because the show portrays a Black women as building a career for herself, successfully, and also trying to balance several other roles in life, effectively. Mary Jane is family oriented, has a zest for life, and is a hopeful (yes, ‘-ful’) romantic that loves so hard. There are many aspects of her that I bet almost EVERY woman who watches will relate to. And, if not MJ, perhaps another co-star of the show. I’m excited to view each phase of life in a character whom I believe I’ll be able to relate to on several levels… errr, sans the love affair. 

SO, get excited about it, people! The series alludes to be racy, bold, gravitating, heartfelt, shocking. We will really empathize and/or sympathize with the challenges and opportunities experienced by each character.

Don’t forget to tune in tonight, Tuesday, Jan 7th, on BET at 10p… or at 8p if you haven’t seen the premiere movie! Let’s not compare it to Scandal. Let’s give it a shot for what it is. Besides, Feb 27th will be here before you know it. =)

Before, or while, you watch, connect with the show. Here’s how: 

Twitter: @BeingMaryJane or #BeingMaryJane to follow the convo
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BeingMaryJane
Website: www.bet.com/beingmaryjane

Enjoy the 411!

Single Ladies premieres it’s new season tonight at 9pm EST on VH1. Was I the only one that missed the memo? Whew! That was a close one.

Single Ladies premieres it’s new season tonight at 9pm EST on VH1. Was I the only one that missed the memo? Whew! That was a close one.

Every year, Radio One: Raleigh convenes a panel together featuring some of the hottest men in the Entertainment industry at their Women’s Empowerment event! The guys provide their perspective on life, love, women. relationships, and everything in between.

Tell K97.5 who you want to see at this year’s Women’s Empowerment event! To vote, click here

Enjoy the 411!

Beyoncé Carter’s fan Q&A session on her new, self-titled release. 

Top takeaways:

  1. The “Beyoncé” project was completed by a team of actually progressive women who were considered “underdogs” in their industry of expertise. #GirlPower
  2. The “‘Yoncé” nickname was coined by infamous producer, The Dream. 

Enjoy the 411!

Repost from Celebrity News & Entertainment blogger, Micah Jesse.  

the motto.

the motto.